How to pronounce Gao Xingjian: gow shing-jen
Novelist and playwright Gao Xingjian is the first Chinese recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was born January 4th, 1940. He has lived in France since 1987. In 1980 Gao became a screenwriter for the Beijing People's Art Theatre. His novel Soul Mountain was inspired by his 10-month trek along the Yangtze River.
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A Discussion With Gao Xingjian
Gao Xingjian was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature "for an uvre
of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has
opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama." The following
is an excerpt from his acceptance speech.
Language is not merely concepts and the carrier of concepts, it simultaneously activates the feelings and the senses and this is why signs and signals cannot replace the language of living people. The will, motives, tone and emotions behind what someone says cannot be fully expressed by semantics and rhetoric alone. The connotations of the language of literature must be voiced, spoken by living people, to be fully expressed. So as well as serving as a carrier of thought literature must also appeal to the auditory senses. The human need for language is not simply for the transmission of meaning, it is at the same time listening to and affirming a person's existence.
Borrowing from Descartes, it could be said of the writer: I say and therefore I am. However, the I of the writer can be the writer himself, can be equated to the narrator, or become the characters of a work. As the narrator-subject can ...
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